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CLIA Reports Significant Increase of European Cruise Travellers in 2016

Over 500,000 more European Cruise passengers in the past four years and up to 41 billion euros of economic contribution annually

Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), the unified voice and leading authority of the global cruise community recently confirmed a 3.4 percent increase of European passengers compared with 2015, essentially lead by the German and UK & Ireland markets.

According to its annual CLIA survey, presented during the recent Seatrade Cruise Global 2017 by Kyriakos Anastassiadis, chairman CLIA Europe and CEO of Celestyal Cruises, the European cruising market has been steadily growing for the past ten years, reaching up to 6.7 million European passengers in 2016.

The five-year trend is upward in all European markets, particularly in Germany with a staggering 11.3 percent growth reaching a record of over 2 million passengers. UK and Ireland was up by 5.6 percent with nearly 1.9 million cruise guests, and Spain continued its recovery after a drop in 2014, with a cruise market expanding by 4.2 percent.

Similar to previous years, 4 out of 5 Europeans chose to cruise in Europe, with half of them going to the Mediterranean and Atlantic islands, and 21 per cent to northern Europe and the Baltic.

“Our growth prediction of cruising in Europe is well confirmed for 2016, despite the socio-political challenges we faced in Europe and some temporarily reduced regional deployment of capacity,” Anastassiadis said. “2017 is also looking up with the arrival of 26 new ships and we are looking forward to this very positive prospect.”

Following are key figures for CLIA Europe:

  • 6,674,000 Europeans took a cruise in 2016, for an average duration of 8 nights.
  • Germany leads the source market in Europe with 2,018,000 passengers, a growth of 11,8 percent in one year – an exceptional result.
  • United Kingdom, with a 5.6 percent increase in passengers had a record year with almost 1.9 million passengers.
  • Spain grew by 4.2 percent, confirming a two-year recovery since the economic downturn of 2014.
  • 4 out of 5 Europeans chose a cruise in Europe. The Mediterranean remains the most popular destination, but Northern Europe is becoming increasingly popular too, growing by 2,1 percent in 2016.
  • 18.3 percent of ships were deployed in the Mediterranean in 2016, and 11,1 percent in the rest of Europe.
  • 39 cruise lines operated in Europe, deploying 123 ships.
  • The 2015 European Economic Contribution Report established that the Cruise industry in Europe contributed to 360,571 jobs; 41 billion euros in total contribution and over 11 billion in employee compensation.
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